Thursday, March 07, 2019

Mapping Horizontal Fracking

Last year West Virginia issued over 5,000 permits for horizontal fracking wells. Horizontal fracking allows companies to drill for miles underground in any direction from one single point. Although horizontal wells only require a single point to drill these single points need large gravel clearings. In West Virginia's mountainous terrain this often requires flattening hilltops, new roads and tree clearance.

ProPublica and the Charleston Gazette-Mail have teamed up to map horizontal fracking wells in West Virginia. A Guide to Every Permitted Natural Gas Well in West Virginia is illustrated with an interactive map which not only shows the location of every well but also shows the approximate extent of each underground horizontal well.

The ProPublica article also includes small circular maps showing aerial views of all well pads in the state. These aerial views show the extent to which trees have been cleared for each well's construction. If you hover over the small circular aerial view of a well you can view who it is owned by. It is also possible to filter the small maps shown by county and by company name.

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